Top MLB picks May 29: Count on the Phillies to put up some runs
The MLB schedule includes 15 games on Sunday as every team in the league is wrapping up a weekend series.
The pregame narrative: The Phillies offence hopes to stay hot against a starter who’s hit a rough patch, while the Dodgers look to pummel an inferior opponent and Juan Soto is mired in a brutal cold stretch.
Here are our top MLB picks for May 29.
Best bet: Phillies over 3.5 runs (-117)
Although Philadelphia’s position players are a disaster defensively, their collection of sluggers has produced the eighth-most runs in the majors — and they’re in a good spot on Sunday.
New York Mets starter Chris Bassitt got off to an outstanding start to the season, but the wheels have come off in his last two outings. The right-hander has allowed 12 earned in those outings, with five balls clearing the fence.
That’s music to the ears of a Phillies team that ranks 10th in the majors in home run hitting, with the personnel to be even better in that category. The combination of Bassitt’s long ball tendencies (1.58 HR/9), the power in a lineup containing Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins, and a Citi Field setting that’s historically boosted home runs could be potent.
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Philadelphia will also benefit from a strong history against the Mets right-hander. Phillies hitters have hit .302 against him with a .558 SLG in 45 trips to the plate. That’s not surprising considering the teams has an above-average run value on fastballs (+5.4) and has been the second-best team in the majors at hitting cutters (+9.8) in 2022 according to FanGraphs. Bassitt has thrown fastballs or cutters 65% of the time this season.
Things will get tougher for the Phillies when Bassitt leaves the game, but the Mets bullpen is more solid than elite with an ERA (3.55) just a touch below the league average for relievers (3.78). Philadelphia is unlikely to go off late in this game, but an add-on run or two is in the cards — and should be enough to clear this line.
Key stat: The Phillies have scored four or more runs in seven of their last eight games.
Dodgers -1.5, first five innings (+125): A two-run advantage is hard to come by in just five innings, but the Dodgers are in a smash spot on Sunday. They’re facing a mediocre pitcher (Zach Davies) that they’ve scored eight runs against in eight innings this season — and they’re sending southpaw Tyler Anderson to face a D-Backs squad with a league-worst wRC+ (74) against left-handers.
Soto under 0.5 runs (-109): It seems borderline sacrilegious to bet against the league’s biggest on-base threat scoring a run, but Soto is in the midst of a significant slump. In his last 13 games, he’s hit .114/.291/.159 with a single run to his name — and he’ll have the platoon disadvantage against Colorado Rockies starter Kyle Freeland.
Odds as of 9:23 a.m. ET on 05/29/2022.